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CMA triumphs again: Cérélia/Jus-Rol legal challenge dismissed by court of appeal

CMA triumphs again: Cérélia/Jus-Rol legal challenge dismissed by court of appeal


The Court of Appeal upholds CMA's merger review, dismissing Cérélia's challenge, ensuring fair competition

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) secured another victory in the legal battle against Cérélia regarding its acquisition of Jus-Rol. In a recent ruling, the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed all five grounds of Cérélia's appeal, reinforcing the Competition Appeal Tribunal's (CAT) decision from September 2023.

Joel Bamford, Executive Director of Mergers at the CMA, expressed satisfaction with the ruling, highlighting the reaffirmation of the CMA's thorough and fair investigation process. The Court of Appeal's decision validated the CAT's conclusions, affirming the rationality and lawfulness of the CMA's procedures.

This marks the second setback for Cérélia in its legal challenges, stressing the necessity for the company to divest Jus-Rol entirely to prevent adverse effects on competition in the UK grocery market. The CMA's initial investigation had concluded that the merger would significantly reduce competition, potentially leading to higher prices and inferior product quality for consumers.

Despite Cérélia's disagreement with the CMA's findings, both the CAT and now the Court of Appeal have upheld the regulator's decision. The legal dispute primarily centred on the assessment of competition and procedural fairness in the CMA's investigation process. With the Court of Appeal's ruling, Cérélia is now compelled to initiate the sale of the Jus-Rol business.

The CMA's persistence in ensuring fair competition underscores its commitment to safeguarding consumer interests and maintaining market integrity. This legal victory reinforces the authority's mandate in scrutinising mergers to prevent anti-competitive practices and promote a level playing field in the marketplace.